Opportunities to be an Artist

Posted 20 March 2012 12:00 AM by Ruth Mercado-Zizzo

I don’t remember when I watched a show in a theatre for the first time. What I do remember is the first time I designed my own comic strip and played the piano (1st grade), the first time I wrote a play (5th grade), the first time I acted on stage (6th grade) and the first time I stage managed (10th grade). The arts were just a natural part of my life, and I am fortunate to have attended schools where the arts were a given part of the curriculum and to have parents and a family heritage where the arts are an inherent part of being human and exploring who you are.

March is Youth Arts Month, and I am consistently impressed with the artistic talent youth I encounter display. Whether they are designing their own web site, editing their own film, writing poetry, making beats or performing a monologue, youth are already artists who blossom further when provided with opportunities to actively engage and voice their own means of expression. All we need to do is provide a safe space and listen.

Ruth Mercado-Zizzo is the former Director of Education at Citi Performing Arts Center.

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